Top border deal negotiator Sen. James Lankford is clapping back at Republicans for criticizing the $118 billion border security package , accusing them of wanting to leave the border open. On Sunday, the Senate released the text of the White House-backed deal including $14 billion in aid to Israel, $60 billion to Ukraine and also $20 billion for securing the southern border amid a massive increase in illegal migration. The bill mandates that the southern border will be shut down if there are 5,000 illegal migrant encounters over the course of a week or 8,500 migrants encountered in a single day.
But many Republicans don’t think this goes far enough. Speaker Mike Johnson and his GOP leadership team immediately deemed it ‘dead on arrival’ in the House. Lankford, R-Okla., went after his GOP colleagues who are furious with the deal, saying on Fox & Friends Monday that they’re nitpicking ‘crazy details’ and just want to ‘attack’ the proposal – which he says closes the border down. He specifically explained that crossers have exceeded 5,000 almost every single day over the past four months and called Republican criticism of the provision ‘ridiculous’ because the bill ‘completely closes the border down’ and ‘deports everyone.’
But Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, blasted the deal, calling it a ‘crap-sandwich of a border bill,’ and said ‘a single weekend’ isn’t long enough to fully review the 370-page law. ‘He needs three weeks to be able to read it, but he’s already opposed to it,’ Lankford fired back. ‘So again, people have to be able to read it and go through it themselves. Don’t just go off of Facebook post somewhere on what the bill says,’ Lankford said. But Republican infighting is likely to tank the compromise as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to bring the first procedural vote to the floor on Wednesday. ‘The key aspect of this, again, is are we, as Republicans, going to have press conferences and complain the border is bad and then intentionally leave it open after the worst month in American history in December?’ Lankford argued during the Fox & Friends hit. December saw a record-breaking over 302,000 illegal migrant apprehensions, the most ever in a single month. And that doesn’t include ‘gotaways’ who were not intercepted by border officials.
Lankford slammed his GOP colleagues for continuing to ‘complain’ about the massive number of migrants without action. Don’t we want to ‘actually change as many things as we can, if we have the shot?’ he asked. The Oklahoma senator also slammed ‘weeks of false rumors and speculation’ leading to the release of the text in an op-ed published by Fox News on Monday. ‘I encourage you to read the bill to get the facts. It is the strongest and most conservative border security policy to come out of the Senate in decades, and it has the potential to transform our border from catch and release to detain and deport,’ he states. ‘It builds more wall, hires more officers, increases deportation flights, adds more detention beds, and multiplies the technology at the border. It does not include amnesty of any kind. Period,’ the senator added.
Knives are also out for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is facing much of the fury from Republicans opposing the bill after he insisted last year that border policy changes be included in the funding package for embattled countries. Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Daines was the first among the upper chamber’s leadership to oppose the bill on Monday, writing: ‘I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer funded lawyers to illegal immigrants and gives billions to radical open borders groups. I’m a no.’ Instead, Daines said the bill should reinstate pandemic-era Title 42 , Remain in Mexico policies and border wall construction. When the bill’s text was released on Sunday, President Joe Biden said in a statement: ‘I strongly support it.’ Donald Trump insisted that only a ‘fool or a radical left Democrat’ would actually vote for the ‘horrendous’ border package.
‘This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party,’ Trump posted to his Truth Social account on Monday. ‘It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans.’ ‘Don’t be STUPID!!!’ the former president continued. ‘We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form! The Democrats broke Immigration and the Border. They should fix it.’ House Republicans are especially not on board with the deal and could sink it when it goes to the lower chamber for reconciliation. ‘Any Republican voting for this Senate America last open border amnesty bill must be paid off by foreign interests and is acting as a foreign agent,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted to X, formerly Twitter . ‘What an embarrassment! Shame on them!!’
Former Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.) called the deal a ‘dumpster fire.’ Sen. J.D. Vance posted: ‘The House is impeaching Mayorkas next week while the Senate will be voting to give him massive discretion to …not enforce the border . Why would any Republican vote for this?’ And House Republican leadership made it clear over the weekend that the package doesn’t have backing in the lower chamber. ‘I’ve seen enough,’ Speaker Johnson (R-La.) wrote on X. ‘This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created.’ ‘As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes,’ Johnson added. ‘If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.’ Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote, ‘Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House.’
‘Here’s what the people pushing this ‘deal’ aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients—a magnet for more illegal immigration,’ he added. Donald Trump’s eldest son ranted on X against the ‘insanity’ of the deal in a couple of posts. ‘Mitch McConnell and James Lankford are selling out America with their Mass Amnesty/Ukraine Bailout deal,’ he wrote on Sunday, adding: ‘Pass it on.’ ‘We know that Mitch McConnell is clearly not mentally there after his numerous glitches this fall, but to watch him get rolled this way and still be in ‘Republican leadership’ is truly embarrassing for our party,’ he said in a Monday post. ‘Was there any GOP opposition to a Dem dream bill?’ Donald Trump Jr. questioned. Additionally, several progressives are also expected to oppose the plan – like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who said Sunday that he is against the package due to the funding for Israel . And pro-immigration and Hispanic lawmakers are taking aim at overhauls made to the immigration policy. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) called the bill a ‘new version of Trump-era policies that will cause more chaos at the border.’
The White House intervened with border negotiations in the Senate, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas going to Capitol Hill for discussions despite the House launching an impeachment inquiry against him at the same time. In December, the U.S. saw the highest number of migrants arrested at the U.S. border with Mexico as more than 302,000 were apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). When broken down by day , approximately 10,000 migrants crossed every day from Mexico into the U.S. in December, which is 5,000 more than the cutoff the new bill would establish. Former President Donald Trump urged Congress to abandon the deal even before the text was released over the weekend. He lambasted the deal in posts on Truth Social over recent weeks, saying the ‘horrific’ bill is being used by Democrats to put the ‘border disaster’ onto the ‘shoulders of Republicans.’
‘There is zero chance I will support this horrible open borders betrayal of America,’ Trump said at a rally last weekend. ‘A lot of the senators, they’re trying to blame it on me. I say, ‘that’s okay, please blame it on me.’ I’d rather have no bill than a bad bill.’ Republican colleagues argue that Democrats are pushing to move too quickly to get something passed during an election year when one of Biden’s biggest pitfalls has been dealing with the ongoing southern border crisis. Sen. Lee and several other GOP hardliners in the Senate have said a ‘single weekend’ to review the massive bill ‘doesn’t count’ and is demanding more time to interview witnesses and examine the text before a vote. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called it the ‘oldest game in town’ bringing the major piece of legislation before a recess or holiday but ‘hopes’ Speaker Johnson will give the bill a ‘fair shake’ if it passes the Senate.
But Johnson announced Saturday the House separately will bring a ‘clean, standalone’ $17 billion Israel aid bill to the floor next week as the Senate prepares to move forward its supplemental package. The Senate’s massive package includes $6 billion to CBP for security enforcement and investigations relating to ‘migration surges along the southwest border’ and ‘counter-fentanyl activities.’ But over $40 billion will be allotted to ‘respond to the situations’ in Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. It also contains a provision that would deny funding to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after controversy over many employees’ involvement in Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel. Biden supports the legislation. ‘Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it,’ he wrote in a Sunday statement. Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13048031/Top-Republican-accuses-colleagues-wanting-leave-border-OPEN-Negotiator-James-Lankford-claps-criticism-118-BILLION-package-tells-furious-GOP-members-not-read-bill-Facebook.html?ito=msngallery
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